Why Julianne Hough Isn't Returning To Dancing With The Stars Next Season

Julianne Hough is a familiar face to fans of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, and she has contributed to the show as both dancer and judge in years past. Unfortunately for fans who love her brand of contribution to Dancing with the Stars, she will not be back for the next season. She recently revealed why she made the decision not to return to Dancing with the Stars, saying this:

So many things are happening. Obviously, Dancing has always been my family. I was on it, I left for a little while, I came back. So, who knows what will transpire [in the future]. But as of right now, I'm focusing on that show [Blackpool], my acting and then my music. That's really sort of my focus right now.

Dancing with the Stars introduced Julianne Hough to audiences way back in Season 4 when she spun onto the scene as a professional dancing partner. She continued to partner with celebrities through Season 8, even claiming the top prize with a partner in two seasons. Years later in Season 19, Hough became a judge through Season 24 aside from Season 22, which she took off as a break. Hough only appeared at the very end of Season 25 and will evidently not appear in Season 26 due to an entirely different project called Blackpool.

Blackpool has actually been in the works as a fictional ballroom dance project since back in early 2013 with both Julianne Hough and her brother Derek Hough, who is also a famed dancer and dance competition judge. In her chat with ET Online, Julianne Hough described the show as a combination of "Black Swan, I, Tonya, and Moulin Rouge." All three of those movies are quite popular in their own right, which could point toward Blackpool appealing to a passionate audience.

When Blackpool was announced back in 2013, it was intended to air on Starz and focus on the prestigious annual ballroom competition that takes place in Blackpool, England. The dancers' obsession with perfection would give a window into a darker side of the glamor that outsiders see of the world of ballroom dance. At the time, the Hough siblings were slated to contribute as executive producers and head choreographers. Few details are available about what has changed for Blackpool over the past five years, but Julianne Hough's comments indicate that progress on the project is ongoing.

In addition to working on Blackpool, Julianne Hough will appear on the upcoming second season of World of Dance. Derek Hough works as a judge on World of Dance and asked her to come on as a mentor for an episode, so Dancing with the Stars fans can find her on NBC later this year, even if only briefly. Julianne Hough apparently also intends to continue to work on her acting and her music, which means that she could be very busy in the coming months.

Dancing with the Stars Season 26 will premiere without Julianne Hough on Monday, April 30 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. For your other viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide and our 2018 Netflix schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).